Sila Offers Customers Digital Debt Collection Services through New TrueAccord Partnership

By on February 7th, 2022 in Company News, Product and Technology
TrueAccord Blog

PORTLAND, Ore., (February 7, 2022) – Sila Inc., a fintech software platform that provides payment infrastructure as a service, today announced that it partnered with TrueAccord, the leading debt collection company offering intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery solutions, to make it easier for Sila’s customers to use TrueAccord’s products and services. How to deal with delinquent and defaulted accounts is a key element that fintechs need to have in place as part of their overall management of funds. Using a patented machine learning engine and engagement data from millions of customers, TrueAccord delivers a personalized, self-serve experience that drives consumer engagement and industry-leading results. Meeting consumer preference for digital-first services and to cut through the noise and empower customer self-service and inbound communication, TrueAccord uses a range of channels including email, SMS, voicemail drop, and more.

Since its inception, Sila has been laser-focused on providing industry-leading API solutions. As importantly, Sila has been steadily growing its partner network to augment its offering by anticipating additional functionality that Sila customers will need to successfully build their businesses. With the recent addition of TrueAccord, Sila is on path to have agreements with over 40 specialist service providers signed by the end of this quarter.

“Sila is proud to welcome TrueAccord as a partner. We know that our customers will benefit from this key addition to our partner network and from a closer relationship between our two organizations,” said Shamir Karkal, CEO and co-founder, Sila Inc. “Like many of our fintech customers, TrueAccord was founded by an individual who had a sub-optimal experience with a traditional financial institution and decided to do something about it. That’s a mindset that is very close to our own because we started Sila around the idea to provide payment services that allow entrepreneurs to build the new financial world they have in mind.”

“We have worked with more than 16 million consumers on their journey to pay off their debts, and we use that data and feedback to understand how and when to best engage consumers to facilitate repayment. By allowing consumers to create flexible payment plans and by offering modern, digital-first communication channels, we are changing the landscape of debt collection from hostile and harassing to empathetic and helpful,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord Corp. “We are looking forward to bringing to bear our significant expertise for the benefit of Sila’s customers and consumers.”

About Sila

Sila is a fintech software platform that provides payment infrastructure as a service, a business-critical element for all companies that need to integrate with the US banking system and blockchain quickly, securely, and in compliance with applicable US regulation. Sila offers Banking, Digital Wallet & ACH Payments APIs for Software Teams. The firm was recognized as a ‘2021 best place to work in financial technology’. Sila is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. For more information go to www.silamoney.com

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage recovery solution, and Recover, a full-service debt collection platform.To learn more, go to http://www.trueaccord.com.

Collections Economics 101 for Digital Lenders

By on February 3rd, 2022 in Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

With digital lending via neobanks and fintechs on the rise, consumers have more options than ever for obtaining loans. There are a lot of considerations for these digital financial providers when building their business models, but one important and often-overlooked strategy is recovery for delinquent accounts. We sat down with TrueAccord’s Chief Growth Officer, Sheila Monroe, who has held numerous executive-level positions at TrueAccord on top of a multi-decade career in collections, to learn more about the economics of collections and what new lending players should look for when considering a collections solution.

What are the economics of collections metrics for delinquent accounts?

There are a number of metrics to pay close attention to in the management of delinquent accounts. These can be separated into two main categories, portfolio metrics and operational metrics. 

Portfolio metrics address the health of the entire portfolio or a defined segment of a portfolio (a certain vintage or a certain risk group or even a particular product). For a U.S.-based lender following GAAP accounting, the lender’s net loss rate (or net charge off rate) is the ultimate metric. It tells investors and management what percent of the portfolio is lost as a result of non-payment, which is a key metric in the overall health of the business. Private equity and venture capital firms, along with companies who invest in a lender’s receivables, will be most interested in a predictable loss rate in line with investment objectives.

Operational metrics are also important in managing delinquency and losses. Operationally, lenders should understand how well consumers follow through on payment plans or promises by monitoring a promise kept rate as well as what percent of payments cover the total payment due to cure the account. For measuring efficiency, lenders look at the ratio of delinquent accounts per collection employee, often referred to as accounts per employee (APE) or accounts to collector ratio (ACR), as well metrics like promises and dollars collected per paid hour of operations. Many also look at the cost to collect a dollar or the cost per delinquent account. 

What are credit loss provisions and why are they important to financial providers?

Lending institutions will inevitably have loans that go into default, and this is planned for in their financial modeling. For lenders, even the largest international banks, loan losses are the largest expense line in the budget so it’s important to prepare for those losses. When money is loaned, whether in a 30-year mortgage, a 5-year car loan, or a revolving credit card, some of those accounts will go past due, and some will fail to pay long enough that they get charged off as bad debt (credit loss), and it can take years to see that happen. 

But when account balances do get charged off as bad debt, the lender must have enough money “reserved” to absorb those losses and still be able to operate. So any lending company with investors will need to have a reserve for losses that shows up in their balance sheet. Depending on market conditions and actual loss rates, these reserves can be adjusted upward or downward periodically to ensure what is commonly referred to in financial services as “safety and soundness”. This is even more important if a lender takes consumer deposits to fund any of their lending. 

What is a roll rate in debt collections?

The roll rate is the sum of account balances that moves from being in one stage of delinquency to the next. For example, if 500 accounts with balances totalling $600,000 are one month past due (often called bucket 1 or one down), and the next month there are 150 accounts with balances totalling $125,000 that are 2 months past due, there was a 20.8% roll rate from buckets 1-2. Roll rates can also be calculated based on number of accounts, but that metric is rarely used in a performance analysis. 

How do lenders and debt collectors use roll rates?

Roll rates are primarily used to forecast future charge-off levels, to develop sophisticated risk scoring models to be used in underwriting or collection strategy, and to evaluate the effectiveness of a collection strategy or process. The collection process is designed to effectively intervene when consumers miss payments and to encourage and enable them to get back on track quickly. The longer loans and credit cards go unpaid, the more they accumulate late fees and finance charges and become much more difficult to get back to good standing. 

What are “good” roll rate ranges in debt collections?

This can be tricky to determine because portfolio objectives and type of debt come into play. For example, some products might be aimed at riskier customers, those with thin or no credit profiles, or those who have lower credit scores and it would be disadvantageous to compare those roll rates to those of a prime product. It’s important to understand the objectives of a lending product when evaluating performance. Depending on their objectives, some lenders target high-risk customers and have high credit losses, padded by high fees, while others target prime borrowers and enjoy low losses.  

If a lender has been in business long enough, they can benchmark roll rates against prior years, but need to account for any changes to underwriting and macro economic conditions. For example, banks can compare delinquency and charge off rates to other banks or look at performance by vintage, meaning how are all the accounts that were opened during a specific period of time performing. Peer benchmarking can be difficult for Fintech and other young lenders who often don’t have a base of publicly traded competitors who must report these key metrics in shareholder reports, but there are some consortium groups that can help (Auriemma Roundtable Group).

Roll rates are early indicators of collection effectiveness and often require more than a glance to understand if they are good. Often looking at connected roll rates or flow rates is more telling. For example, a high roll rate one month may be the product of a short billing month, while looking at a broader metric like debts that rolled from current to 3 months or those that went from 4 months to charge-off, might be a more telling indicator.  

What are “good” ranges of cost to collect?

Generally, collection costs include the cost of collection staff wages and fringe benefits, software licensing, management overhead (for quality monitoring, training, supervision, workforce management and others), communication costs (letter and postage, telephony, SMS and other costs), equipment, supplies, scrubs and skip tracing information, and premises (leases and maintenance). If the collection function is completely outsourced, a lot of these costs will be wrapped into the cost per hour or cost per FTE being charged. I’ve seen costs on a per account basis range anywhere from $4.50 to more than $16 for unsecured consumer debt, depending on the strategy, the type of portfolio, and the location of the operation.  

As a lender, it’s important to know what you are optimizing for. Spending more to keep losses low may seem like a no brainer, but there is a point of diminishing returns and, worse, a point in which more collection activity drives disproportionate costs in the forms of complaints, litigation, customer attrition and reputational damage. It may make sense for your business to manage delinquency and charge off levels near your industry’s benchmark or even higher, but put more thought into customer retention and how to get them using your product again once their finances have stabilized.  

Why should a company that’s new to lending have a collections partner?

New lenders go into business to lend money. They start with a target audience and product market fit, and tailor underwriting to their growth aspirations and customer value proposition. That is absolutely what any new lender should focus on. But often lenders are either naive about the impact of losses (maybe they think their underwriting will be so good they don’t need to think about collections), or they don’t have a full appreciation of how managing losses and taking advantage of recoveries will enable them to lend more money and retain more of those hard-earned customers. Having a trusted collection partner can allow the lender to focus on what they do best while reaping the benefits of sound practices to manage delinquency.  

How do you measure success?

Ultimately, it will be a combination of your lending strategy (did you lend to the right people) and your collection strategy (how well can you get customers back on track after missing a payment) that will influence portfolio metrics. But none of these metrics will drive outstanding performance in isolation. To be effective, it’s important to understand a lender’s reach into the delinquent customer base. What percent of customers are actually engaging with the collection effort? A calling strategy results in about 2% of phone calls reaching a “right party” (the person responsible for paying) and about 1.5% resulting in a payment. 

More lenders should look at engagement metrics – what percent of their delinquent customers actually engaged with some form of communication. In a purely digital strategy it is easy to measure email open and click rates, and SMS engagement rates as strong top of the funnel indicators. For Fintech we see a 46% email open rate and 2.5% click rate, with SMS delivering click rates between 25-32%. This is substantially higher engagement than what can be achieved in a calling environment and is better received by consumers. 

What should a digital lending company consider when choosing a collections partner?

Companies new to lending are originating loans, and therefore the entire customer relationship, online. Their customers had a digital experience to begin the relationship and they will expect a digital experience throughout their relationship with the lender. With that in mind, some things a digital lender should consider when choosing a collections partner include:

  • Does the collection company primarily communicate with my customers in their channel(s) of choice? Many collection companies will say they use email, but it is often not the primary mode of communication and can amount to less than 10% of an otherwise heavy, offensive phone calling strategy. 
  • Are customer communications personalized when it comes to the channel being used, the time of day the communication occurs, the content and tone of the message or do they segment broad groups of customers for a one size fits all treatment strategy? 
  • Does the collection company leverage any machine learning that could augment what I already know about my customers based on my internal data alone?
  • What process does the collection company have for continuous improvement enabled by a strong champion/challenger testing capability? 
  • How much execution risk does my collection partner expose me to? Operations that rely on more collection agents will carry more risk exposure. Poor agent attendance or high attrition will impact expected coverage. Poor quality or agent errors across a varied labor pool will impact collection results and pose compliance risks. Cultural bias or unneutralized accents of offshore agents have been shown to result in lower contacts and lower average commitments than more expensive on-shore agents.
  • If you are outsourcing to an agent-intensive provider, make sure you understand what drives the agent incentive plan. Agents interested in making incentives don’t always have your customers’ best interests in mind.

TrueAccord Brings Collections to the Synapse Fintech Ecosystem

By on January 5th, 2022 in Company News
TrueAccord Blog

Collections-as-a-Service offering is seamlessly integrated to service customer debt accounts while delivering consumer-friendly, digital-first experiences

LENEXA, Kan., Jan. 5, 2022 — TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering ML-powered digital recovery solutions, today announced a partnership with Synapse as an expansion of its Collections-as-a-Service offering. The partnership will bring the best-in-class collection and recovery capabilities of TrueAccord to Synapse’s fintech partners and customer base, integrating collections into the customer-centric fintech ecosystem.

Given the rapid growth in fintech lending and banking-as-a-service (BaaS) and the steady rise in delinquencies, consumers are expected to fall behind on their payments and require assistance to repay their debts. Synapse, a BaaS platform that provides the infrastructure and leverages APIs to enable companies to quickly build and launch best-in-class financial services, selected TrueAccord to join their growing tech stack of fintech partners with similar approaches to financial services and customer experience to address the need for debt collection when it arises. 

“We chose to partner with TrueAccord to add debt repayment services to Synapse’s BaaS ecosystem, because it aligns with consumer preference for a frictionless, digital-first financial services experience, especially when they fall behind,” said Sankaet Pathak, Founder & CEO of Synapse. “We want to ensure our customers have a good experience across all aspects of their financial journey, and providing that in collections is just as important for customer retention as it is in origination and servicing.”

Through an API integration, TrueAccord’s Recover debt collection solution will service charged-off debt accrued through Synapse’s lending platform. This will expand the Synapse fintech suite to follow a customer from loan origination to application and all the way through to collections, if needed. Additionally, TrueAccord’s Retain solution for early-stage delinquencies will be available on a referral-basis to the fintech partners in the Synapse ecosystem as an option to help get customers back on track with payments before being sent to collections.

“As a fintech company itself, TrueAccord knows the fintech business and customer better than most, especially in debt collection,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord Corp. “We speak the fintech language of consumer communication preferences, data and machine learning-driven technology, and no credit bureau reporting, offering customers a streamlined and hassle-free way to settle their debts and get back on track with their finances.”

With open banking on the rise, more companies will look for ways to incorporate collections into their service offerings. TrueAccord’s industry-leading Collections-as-a-Service product will enable  fintech innovators to scale their businesses and offer best-in-class recovery with a customer-centric approach.

To learn more about TrueAccord, its API and built-in collections solutions, click here and follow @TrueAccord on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage recovery solution, and Recover, a full-service debt collection platform.

TrueAccord Announces Organizational Changes to Executive Leadership Team

By on August 3rd, 2021 in Company News
TrueAccord Blog

Digital-first debt collection fintech readies for continued B2B and B2C expansion with strategic leadership reorganization

TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering digital-first and consumer-centric solutions for resolving debts, today announced changes to its executive leadership team to support a planned expansion of products and services. The changes include Sheila Monroe, who previously served as CEO, moving to a new role as chief growth officer for TrueAccord’s parent company, One True Holding Company, with Mark Ravanesi, formerly chief revenue officer (CRO), filling the role as newly appointed CEO of TrueAccord. One True Holding Company also named a chief marketing officer (CMO), Naama Bloom, to drive integrated marketing as the company looks to engage new and different clients.

After two and a half years building and growing TrueAccord as CEO, Monroe takes on a new strategic role as chief growth officer for One True Holding Company, allowing her to tap into her vast global network and industry knowledge. She will focus on strategic opportunities to grow the organization through partnerships, regional expansion and other tactics. With more than 20 years of financial and recoveries experience, along with her ability to navigate complex regulatory environments, Monroe has been a key driver of TrueAccord’s growth and execution. 

Assuming the role of CEO at TrueAccord, Ravanesi will manage overall operations and resources while leading the development and implementation of the company’s strategy and mission. Since joining TrueAccord in 2019, Ravanesi has served as vice president of client success and CRO, playing integral roles in growing the sales organization and leading the company’s analytics and client-facing teams. He is a seasoned industry leader with more than 20 years of experience in the collections space, focusing on strategy, analytics, policies and strategies. Ravanesi’s previous roles include director and leadership positions at Barclays Bank, Discover Financial Services and GE Money.

“​​This is an important step in the evolution of TrueAccord and the whole OTHC group of companies. We will leverage Sheila’s industry expertise in a new, strategic capacity to continue our overall growth trajectory,” said Ohad Samet, co-founder and CEO of One True Holding Company, TrueAccord’s parent company. “Second, we get to apply and expand Mark’s successful mission- and results-oriented leadership in sales to the larger TrueAccord organization, accelerating the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the past years.”

One True Holding Company will continue its long-term success with new products and services targeted to a broader client and customer base, offered by TrueAccord’s sister companies. In alignment with its growth plan, One True Holding Company named Bloom as CMO to create and oversee a comprehensive marketing strategy that will promote brand recognition and deliver offerings that have value for customers, clients and business partners. Bloom brings more than 20 years of marketing experience as a brand builder, entrepreneur and business leader for Fortune 500 companies and startups.

“One True Holding Company has introduced best in class machine learning and digital-first debt collection solutions that consumers love with TrueAccord. Adding a marketing leader to our organization is an important step in doubling down on our trusted brand with clients and consumers alike,” added Samet. “Naama has tremendous experience building marketing teams and building iconic brands that consumers can trust as part of their everyday lives. I am thrilled about bringing in her leadership and expertise to connect the TrueAccord brand, among others, to our business as we move into new verticals and markets.”

The One True Holding Company leadership team also includes Gene Linetsky (chief technology officer), Noah Barr (chief financial officer), Laura Marino (chief product officer), Courtney Graham (chief people officer) and Nadav Samet (chief innovation officer), with Charles Deutsch serving as general manager of the financial services subsidiary True Life Solutions, which launched the game-changing consumer product, Engage.

Over the past year, One True Holding Company and its subsidiaries added more than 200 new hires with plans to continue expanding through 2021, with open positions across engineering, product, sales, client services, marketing, legal and operations. See all open positions and apply here: https://www.trueaccord.com/about-us/careers/  

About TrueAccord

Founded in 2013, TrueAccord’s data-driven debt collection platform is disrupting the collection industry by helping businesses collect more debt online than traditional methods. TrueAccord’s platform is powered by machine learning with a decision engine that analyzes consumer behavior and delivers personalized and empathetic consumer experiences. By communicating at the right time in the right channel with payment options that meet consumer needs, TrueAccord provides exceptional recovery rates for top 10 financial institutions, debt buyers, lenders and technology companies. TrueAccord empowers many of the estimated 77 million consumers who are in debt every year to get on a path to better financial fitness. To learn more, go to http://www.trueaccord.com.

About One True Holding Company

One True Holding Company is a technology company providing business- and consumer-facing solutions in the consumer debt space. Subsidiaries include TrueAccord, which offers machine learning-based, digital- and mobile-first servicing for debt in collections and recoveries, and True Life Solutions, which offers a SaaS platform that consumers can use to contact collectors and creditors digitally.

TrueAccord Talks: Fintech Disruption in 2021

By on July 15th, 2021 in Industry Insights, Industry Interviews

Halfway through 2021, e-commerce and consumer spending continue to see the impact of government stimulus payments while consumers look for new ways to invest and leverage their money. Simultaneously, all sectors of fintech grew during the pandemic, and this growth has not shown signs of stopping. Investment and lending platforms have grown in users by the highest percentage during the pandemic — with increases of 23 and 25 percent, respectively (McKinsey).

With the digitization of banking and financial services now firmly part of our new normal, is “disruption” still possible in fintech in 2021? TrueAccord co-founder and CEO, Ohad Samet, recently sat down with Julie VerHage-Greenberg of Fintech Today to discuss what the next horizon of fintech disruption will look like — and how financial institutions of all types can stay ahead of the curve and create groundbreaking solutions this year.

Watch the full “TrueAccord Talks” episode for more insights, but key trends to watch in fintech disruption in 2021 include:

  1. Solving “structural problems”: Fintechs, unlike many traditional financial services companies, are not just putting old products online and calling them digital, but rethinking the approach to existing problems and building new, better solutions.
  2. Digitization for customer experience: While many companies have focused on digitizing the customer experience, those that haven’t may begin to feel the pressure to adapt. With digitization increasingly being driven by consumer demand and expectation, financial service providers that don’t integrate the consumer experience into their offerings will lose out to those that do.
  3. Affordable financial services: With so many new fintech players in the industry, competition and innovation continue to spur more efficient and affordable services for consumers. Old products will be replaced with new banks, payment options and wage access, and more will focus on credit care and access to cater to consumers.

TrueAccord Featured in Aite Group’s Spotlight on Disruptive Fintech

By on July 1st, 2021 in Company News, Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

In a recent report by the Aite Group, TrueAccord was featured in the inaugural edition of the “Retail Banking & Payments Fintech Spotlight”, which highlighted disruptive fintechs with a strong focus on technologies that improve the customer experience. Analysts from Aite Group selected the six featured fintech vendors exclusively based on their level of innovation and their interesting approaches to wider business challenges facing the retail banking and payments market from both bank and customer perspectives.

The key differentiator making TrueAccord an innovative fintech disruptor? Not just taking an old system and making it digital, but using a customer-centric approach and machine learning engine that caters to each individual’s needs and seeks to fundamentally change the way consumers manage their debt. 

TrueAccord directs consumer focused messages to their preferred communication channel at the right time, all in line with federal and state requirements. With automated communications and the consumer’s ability to self-serve, TrueAccord collection agents can service 80,000 accounts at a time, compared to the typical 1,000 to 2,500 accounts that a traditional agent manages on behalf of the financial institution client. In addition, TrueAccord has found that allowing the consumer to propose their own payment arrangements within the institution’s approved parameters makes it 50% less likely that they will break that payment agreement. 

“Taking an existing process, especially one that is historically not consumer-friendly, and overhauling it from the ground up to actually benefit consumers is disruptive in the best way,” said Leslie Parrish, Senior Analyst, Aite Group. “While many companies focus on the consumer experience during the loan application process, very few bring that same attention to providing a consumer-friendly digital-first experience to the collection of that debt. TrueAccord’s unique approach to debt collection serves as a catalyst for transforming the collections industry.”

Excerpt from “Retail Banking & Payments Fintech Spotlight”:

The process of collecting on consumer debt is in need of a serious update, and TrueAccord distinguishes itself as a true stand-out in this industry. Together, the company’s three offerings provide a comprehensive solution set for both financial institutions and consumers. Consumers have significant pain points in dealing with unwanted collector calls and would much prefer to deal with these unpaid debts without having to speak with an agent. TrueAccord’s Recover and Retain platforms collectively provide financial institutions with a way to effectively communicate and collect on accounts at varying stages of delinquency in a way that is hospitable to consumers.

To read the full TrueAccord spotlight, download a copy of the report here.